Childhood Injury Prevention Tips

by OrthoVirginia Team

Childhood Injury Prevention Tips

Whether your children are playing on the playground, riding bikes or just roaming around the house, they can get injured in many ways. As National Childhood Injury Prevention Week comes to a close, here are some tips to help keep your children safe.

Key Prevention Tips

  • Play safely: Check to make sure areas where children are playing are safe, soft and contain suitable playground equipment.
  • Make your home safer: Use devices, such as gates on stairs and guards on corners of furniture, that protect your children from common household hazards.
  • Keep sports safe: Make sure your child has proper safety equipment that fits correctly when playing sports.
  • Supervision is key: Watch your children when they are playing, regardless of your location.

Specific Tips

Bike Riding Injuries

The most common injury children experience while riding their bike is falling off and hitting their heads. The best way to minimize the injuries is to make sure your child is wearing protective gear that fits them properly. Here are some tips on making sure your child’s helmet is protecting them.

  • Size: Make sure the helmet fits snugly. While it is sitting flat on top of the head, make sure the helmet cannot move side to side.
  • Position: The helmet should sit lower on the forehead. There should only be one or two finger-widths above the eyebrow.
  • Side straps: The left and right-side straps should form a "Y" and meet right below the ear.
  • Chin strap: Buckle the chin strap. Tighten the chin strap until it is snug. No more than one finger should be able to fit under the strap.

Playground Injuries

Children most often get injured on the playground because they are not using the equipment properly or are not dressed correctly. To ensure your child is playing safely, follow these simple tips.

  • Play gently - don't push others
  • Avoid wearing clothing or jewelry that could get caught
  • Wear secure footwear, like tennis shoes
  • Use the playground equipment properly
    • Swing sitting down
    • One person down the slide at a time
    • Slide on your bottom only
    • Use monkey bars to swing across, not to climb
    • Don't jump from high platforms, slides or swings

Common Household Injuries

While most injuries occur while children are doing an activity, they can also get injured while just wandering around the house. Follow these tips to ensure your child is as safe as possible inside your home.

  • Attach padding to corners of furniture to prevent children hitting their heads
  • Secure furniture to the wall so it won't topple onto children
  • Add nonskid strips to the bathtub to prevent falling
  • Stairs
    • Don't leave your child alone – they can easily climb over a gate
    • Remove toys/shoes from the stairs
    • Teach your child how to go down the stairs backwards to prevent falling forward